The US Foreign Aid Policy to the Middle East: The Political Economy of US Assistance to the MENA Region

18 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2016

See all articles by Hilton L. Root

Hilton L. Root

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs; George Mason University - Schar School of Policy and Government

Yan Li

Independent

Kanishka Balasuriya

Independent

Date Written: January 16, 2016

Abstract

With 63 percent of the world's proven petroleum resources, and with 37 percent of its natural gas, it seems highly ironic that the Middle East and North African Region (MENA) is also the largest recipient of US foreign aid. In addition to fossil fuels, the region is also well endowed with many other minerals and plants providing it with a per capita GDP twice as high as the average of developing countries, higher even than former socialist transition economies. Poverty is relatively low in MENA, only 1.6 percent of its population earns less than $1 per capita a day. Infrastructure is relatively well developed, 88% of its population have access to improved water sources, and 91% to electricity (World Bank). From the perspective of poverty reduction, MENA’s needs for economic assistance from the developed world are by no means as pressing as those of poorer regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, yet MENA is the largest recipient of US foreign assistance since 1973.

Keywords: Middle East and North African Region (MENA), US Foreign Aid, Economic Development

Suggested Citation

Root, Hilton L. and Li, Yan and Balasuriya, Kanishka, The US Foreign Aid Policy to the Middle East: The Political Economy of US Assistance to the MENA Region (January 16, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2716757 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2716757

Hilton L. Root (Contact Author)

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

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George Mason University - Schar School of Policy and Government ( email )

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Arlington, VA 22201
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Yan Li

Independent ( email )

Kanishka Balasuriya

Independent ( email )

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